Metropolitan Hilarion: “Society should rally to prevent the extinction of our population”

May 24, 2011

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk told an ecumenical meeting in Moscow that stopping the demographic crisis in Russia must be a priority for all Christians, as well as the state.

Speaking recently at the assembly of the Christian Inter-confessional Council of the Community of Independent States and Baltic Countries, Metropolitan Hilarion said that to deal successfully with the population problem, the Church and other religious communities, the state, and the mass media and artists should unite their efforts.

Demographers have estimated that Russia’s population has been declining at about 0.5 percent per year, or about 750,000 to 800,000 people per year during the late 1990s and most of the 2000s. The drop is due to the aging of Russia’s population, below-replacement birth rate, and staggeringly high rates of abortion. A UN report warned that Russia will lose about a third of its population by 2050 unless the current trends are halted.

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